Christmas is a time of good cheer and religious celebration. It’s also a time especially loved by children, who keenly anticipate a visit from Santa Claus. But in Austria and other central European countries, there’s a much more sinister tradition. In fact, it’s thought to date back centuries to a pre-Christian, pagan era.
Most young children in the West are taught that good behavior means a visit from Santa, the jovial herald of lots of lovely presents. But Austrian kids have someone other than Santa to keep happy – the dreaded Krampus. Essentially, he’s a kind of evil Santa side-kick. And according to legend, his bite can be just as bad as his bark.